7 Family Traditions You Should Start This Year…and a bonus you should already be doing

The beginning of every year signals a new chapter in our lives and it’s a great time to check in and see if your family is moving in the right direction. For you and your family, it might be time to start new family traditions that will envelop every member of your family with love, support, and joy. There are so many activities to choose from and here are a few that we love and think you might like to start this year.

Meal Traditions

This one will get the kids all riled up. You’ve probably already heard of this tradition, but starting a weekly Taco Tuesday or Breakfast for Dinner Thursday is a great idea for your family. But, take it a step further and make it a tradition that specifically suits you and your kids. If they’re favorite meal is your Easter Pot Roast, consider making it the traditional reward for a straight A report card. Or, if your kids love desserts, have Squeeze ‘n Easy Cannoli as a reward for a specific athletic accomplishment or for other milestones. The point is that you should make it your own.

Cultural Traditions

Your family might have a history of family traditions just waiting to be revived. Even in families that don’t have a super strong cultural background, there are usually family traditions that can be revived or refashioned. Many of our family traditions were a function of religious traditions and as we’ve moved away from everyone having the same religion, we’ve lost those traditions. Think about how you might add those back in, even if you’re currently practicing a different religion from the one you were raised in. Of course, you can always ask your grandparents or other family elders for ideas of old traditions that can be revived or refashioned.

Game Night

A good way to establish friendly competition while including the interests of children is through simple activities like board games. Kids usually love a good board game or even a simple game of cards. Not only will this draw you closer together, but it will also stimulate their brains and break them away from their screens for a few hours! There are countless board games and card games to choose from and you should pick ones that everyone in your family can enjoy.

Movie Night

This is one very common tradition among families…at least it was a big one when I was growing up. Maybe, as your family has grown and the number of TVs and screens in your house has multiplied, your family has gotten away from movie night. This might be the easiest suggestion we have for building a new family tradition. You can even rotate who picks the movie and who gets to choose the snack. Either way, make sure you’re including everyone, so that it’s truly fun for your whole family.  

Camping Out

Yes, we’re suggesting camping. It’s a great tradition that doesn’t have to include tents…you can go cabin camping. Either way, having a weekend per year where you and the kids get outdoors is a great tradition to start. If the budget is tight, you can always do a weekend of tent camping in the backyard. Just do a little something to get the kids outdoors and working as a family…creating new memories. Be sure to bring smores (or cannoli) as these will surely excite the kids.

Annual Family Photo Shoots

This is another one that used to be very common, but isn’t anymore. But, we think it deserves a revival. It might seem a bit of an expense to have family photos taken every year, but we suggest you do a family selfie shoot. My family has made it a tradition to take selfies at local events and special occasions. It’s funny to watch people try to help us take our picture…while we insist that we’re actually trying to take a selfie. Whether you spring for a professional or go the selfie route, try to get in at least one family photo each year. Be sure to include everyone…so you can see your family grow as the years go by.

Family Stories

Of course, we’ve all heard of bedtime stories and you’ve probably even told a few. But, have you considered having a family storytelling night? This tradition will help everyone in your family stretch those creative muscles. If you’d like, you can give everyone a few minutes to tell a story or you can switch storytelling responsibilities from one family member to the next each week. Either way, this little tradition is one that everyone in your family is sure to remember and likely to pass on.

Bonus…Community Service

Whether it’s helping out in the local soup kitchen or helping clean the park, any form of community service done by the entire family is amazing. Not only will you get to bond with everyone, but the younger generation will also be able to understand the value of helping others as well. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in or near a major city, I’m certain there are non-profit organizations that could use a few extra hands and will have activities that fit a variety of ages.

The Importance of Family Tradition

No matter which tradition you choose, having a family tradition is a great way to pass on a legacy to your kids and grandkids. It will provide you and your kids with fond memories and reinforce your family values. Family traditions can provide the core of your children’s socialization, culture, education and entertainment. Start now and see the positive impact that family traditions can have for you, your kids and your family.